Thursday, July 24, 2014

Packing Like a Pro: A 3-Part Post

Quick Link: Overseas Packing: What Else Besides Clothes
Quick Link: Overseas Packing: The Homestretch

If you had to pack up your whole life in 6 suitcases, what would you take?

Before Husband and I moved overseas we had an entire apartment filled with furniture, clothes, framed pictures, book collections, art, kitchen supplies, candles galore. Many of these things, too, had already seen a lifetime with me. Picture frames I bought when I was a teenager. Beautiful clay mirrors that I had made with my own two hands. A Paulo Coelho hardback book collection that, to me, is beyond priceless. How would I part with these items? How would I leave them behind? The anxiety was enough to make me want to cancel our abroad plans and buy a home in NJ just so that I wouldn't have to part with my "things" and have a place to keep them.

There we were. My lifetime of things plus two years of memories in that apartment that we were supposed to neatly pack away and squeeze into boxes and decide whether or not they'd be making the cut to travel abroad with us or not. It wasn't easy. I began packing a month before our move and we were still packing at midnight the night before our flight. I just wasn't sure what I'd need and what I could leave.

To try and help some of you lost (packing) souls that are in the same predicament, I shared some packing tips for Expat Village this last week; a 3-part post on packing like a pro in 6 suitcases since that was the space we were given to neatly pack up our lives. It was an eye-opening experience realizing how many things I could let go of.

To start at the beginning of helpful tips when packing for a large move or overseas move start at Phase 1 or feel free to jump ahead to Phase 2 or Phase 3.

I'd love to hear about your packing experiences or tips to share!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lip Sync Drive By: Hurt So Good

Click here to get the full story on Lip Sync Drive By


This week's inspiration hit us on the way home from a July 4th themed BBQ. It seemed like the perfect fit for a celebration of the Good ol' US of A. From the man that brought you Jack and Diane... Hurt So Good.

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Disclaimer: No driving laws were broken in the making of this video. Safety precautions such as seat belts, eyes on road at all times, volume moderation, and no right on red were followed. 


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Preparation and Packing for an Overseas Move: Phase 1

Quick Link: Pack like a Pro for Overseas: Phase 1

Today at Drinking the Whole Bottle, I'm writing for Expat Village at Wanderlust and Lipstick.

The summer for me signals barbecues, sun, and as of late) lots and lots (and lots) of Cider Beer but a few years ago the lax days of summer were anything but. For me, as for others who will be moving abroad in the fall, the summer can signal packing, notarizing, and check lists about check lists you need to make. So, fear not world traveler, I'm here to help ease your pain and answer some of your questions with today's focus on packing. Unfortunately, I cannot come to your house and pack for you (unless you'd like to fly me out) but I can do the next best thing to help guide you through packing for life overseas. This kind of packing is TOTES different from packing for a week vacation and can be frustrating and overwhelming so here are a couple of tips of what you need to know to prepare packing for such a big trip and what you might want to bring with you.

Click to continue reading Pack like a Pro for Overseas: Phase 1


Calling all expats: What advice would packing advice would you give someone moving overseas? 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Don't Mean to Be Coy, Roy

Quick Link: Me & My Island Need a Break

Paul Simon wrote a song about all the ways to leave your lover. In fact, he argued there must be 50 ways. If you asked me in June what he was talking about I'd swear he was talking about a place and not an actual person.

I love the island rock my family calls home but come the end of a school year I want nothing more than to hop on that beautiful, pot-bellied hog of a plane and fly back to our native New Jersey. It's like the closer the departure date gets, the badder I want it, the more I can taste it. Literally, I can taste it. I can taste sushi and Starbucks and Tony's pizza, and specialty cider beers... on tap.

I'm writing today at the fabulous Women Who Live on Rocks about needing an island break. "I don't mean to be coy, Roy" but many people think that the sun and the surf and the sand are a recipe for good living but sometimes the sun is just bloody hot and sometimes I just want it to rain. Hey, just cause I live on an island doesn't mean it is always paradise.

Click here to read about Needing an Island Break


Monday, June 30, 2014

My World Cup Runeth Over: Take Aways from World Cup 2014




Soccer is not good for your health

Right before the USA/Germany match the other day, I posted this to Facebook but what I want you to pay special close attention to is the first comment I received after my post.

"You guys ready for the 90 minute anxiety attack?? USA!!"
He had hit the nail right on the head. For the next, 90 minutes I would be in a full panic, on the edge of my seat and in desperate need of a horse tranquiler. Tomorrow, when the US plays Belgium, I will be prepared at 4:00 with extra-strength downers.


Women who have had babies should be VERY careful when watching el fútbol 

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I say this not because watching hot soccer players for an hour and a half will make you want to procreate more babies because if you are caring for babies right now, you know there is nothing in the world that could get you that hot and bothered. No, I say this because as I was celebrating the first goal that the USA team scored last Sunday during our game against Portugal - which made me caraaazy - I almost peed my pants. Ok, truth be told, I peed my pants a little. My who-has muscles just aren't what they used to be after I had two babies. Apparently, this is a real equation we babymakers have to consider:

I wish I could say I learned my lesson for our second goal that day but I totally forgot to work my Kegel exercises for that one too and let a little pee slide. Oh well. Joys of motherhood. Am I right?!


"We are the World" is not just a song performed by USA for Africa

It is awesomefying seeing so many people around the GLOBE get so passioned about something that has zero to do with guns, wars, or money - even if one idiot thinks it is all a scam to take away attention from Benghazi, a thought so stupid I can't even understand the logic behind it. Can we just make this a month where we all forget that we want to kill each other and enjoy a game where we just bite each other?


Pretty boys aren't just pretty faces

Damn it, Ronaldo. I've heard your name thrown around for the last few years and will be honest. I set out to not like you. You're so cute. And so talented. And so rich. Damn you. And then I started to take notice of some of the stories I heard about you. Nice stories. Good deed stories. You are not just another pretty face that plays soccer like a Greek God with a Maverick-ish gorgeous smile and chiseled arms. You are much more. I judged you too soon, hot #7. I apologize. So what if you take your shirt off and throw it into a crowd... I'll let that slide. Actually, I'm totally fine with that.


Fútbolistas have great(!) names

If I have a third child and he's a boy I have a few names already in the running thanks to soccer players:
1. Alexi (Alexi Lalas) - The name is SO bad ass that even while it sounds feminine it's BAD ASS. Word, Alexi.
2. Leo (Leonel Messi) - I know his name is LIOnel but I like it spelled better with the E. My hypothetical bay, my choice.
3. Teeth (Luis Suarez) - just kidding
4. Santiago (so I could scream SantiaGOOOOOOAL) - Oh wait. I have a son named Santiago already and I've penned this as his soccer nickname so don't be stealing it, bitches.


New Jersey is awesome. 

Tim Howard.
Michael Bradley
Josmer "Jozy" Altidore
Alejandro Bedoya
That's all.


Why Messi is better than Ronaldo, Ronaldo is better than Messi, and no one is better than... 

Let's face it. If you think Messi is the better player you will find clear cut reasons to pinpoint Messi as the better soccer player. If you think Ronaldo reigns, you too can find solid reasons to pinpoint why Ronaldo is the better player. But why do we find it necessary to pit athletes against each other? Especially when we all know that neither is better than Pele.


Finish him

Sensei John Kreese from the Cobra Kai dojo commands these iconic words of Johnny in Karate Kid. I do believe that no greater truth has ever been uttered. You must finish it. Yep, US and Mexico I am specifically talking to you. Mexico you more so. Didn't you learn anything from the US's game versus Portugal that if you let up for even 5 SECONDS the other team can - and probably WILL score. And instead of heeding this message you played the Netherlands like you were on siesta. Everyone thought so. You played on your heels instead of your toes and they scored on you... twice... in the last 2 minutes of the game. Play til the end, people. Finish it.


(Disclaimer: While I delight in using the phrase "finish him" I do not condone Sensei's implementation of dirty tricks aka "sweep the leg")

speaking of dirty tricks...


The real take away I took from "The Suarez Attack"(Suarez's version of "sweep the leg")

Ok, so the actual biting didn't actually teach me anything but we've got to talk about it, right? Because biting... really? From a grown man? My son (who is one) was biting his sister when he was angry that she took his ball from him... did I mention he's ONE. After giving him my own yellow cards a few times, now he's taken a different approach. When he is angry, he still flexes his chompers but chooses to pretend-bite his hand or the couch or another ball and not other people because biting other people to get your way is representative of mental behavior... or vampires. Neither of which is good. If my one year old soon has learned this... you know where I'm going with this, yes?

BUT here's HOW Fifa's handling of "The Suarez Attack" did teach me something. It taught me that we have to give REAL consequences. If I allowed my ONE-YEAR-OLD to continue biting his sister, guess what, he would still be feasting on her daily. If this animal player could bite a chunk out of someone's shoulder on international screens across the world with millions of people watching and walk away holding buckteeth like nothing happened and then in fact, nothing does happen, then I have a feeling this is not the last we've seen as Teethy McGee. Nice job, Fifa.

Moves like Müller

When we were watching Germany play USA the other day, Husband commented on how Germany was on the attack and we were, well to say it nicely, a little relaxed. I said, "See... that's why I like the Germans. Did Ivan Drago want to just box Rocky Balboa? No. He wanted to crush Rockey Balboa, to 'break' him. And that's how the Germans play." And then I realized Ivan Drago was Russian not German. Oops. Forget that analogy. But I still had a point. The Germans have been kicking ass and taking names and they play like every game like their lives are on the line. You gotta respect that. 

U.S. spells "us"

Has anyone else noticed this? That U.S. without the periods, in fact, spells "us." So I can walk around saying that I want "us" to win and it is the same as saying I want the U.S. to win. I know. I'm brilliant. You're welcome.

I Believe that We Will Win

I love believing. Ask Santa Claus... and Jesus. I am a believer. Give me something to believe in and, wholeheartedly, I will. You won't find a more loyal believer anywhere. So thank you, World Cup 2014 for giving me something to believe in.

Now, let's go US! 



Photo Credits:
World Cup Take aways - Gabriel Smith
Finish Him - Meme Generator
Ronaldo